This is a recipe I adapted from the New York Time’s featured recipe for No-Knead Bread.
Everyone and their mother seems to be making this right now and believe me there is a reason! This bread is gorgeous -it has a golden, crispy crust and soft airy dough – EVERY SINGLE TIME – and basically zero effort too!
I have found a few hints and tips through trial and error and also chatting to others who are loving this adapted recipe – shout-outs to Jac and Stephanie ;-).
I will share them all with you here, then I will go on to the recipe 😀
*Tips and advice before you begin*
- You can use very hot water – as hot as you could stand in a shower for example – NOT boiling – for faster proofing of the dough after mixing (3 hours compared to the usual minimum of 12 hours)
- A pinch of sugar will help feed the yeast in the proofing process too – yeast loves sugar
- You don’t need to have a bowl with matching lid to bake it – I use a Pyrex bowl with and upside down pie dish on top
- Make sure you flour the dish you’re using to bake it in before you put in the dough or it will be a nightmare to remove
- You can use baking paper/baking parchment (not grease-proof, it’s not the same thing and will stick) to line the bowl once the dough is shaped if you prefer but a well oiled & floured bowl works as well and prevents waste.
- You can use plain white flour, strong white flour or a mixture of the two if you just have a small amount of one of them left – I’ve used both on their own and a mix of the two and it comes out the same either way so use what you have.
- if you like a wholemeal loaf, the best combination is 1/2 white flour and 1/2 wholemeal with an extra pinch of sugar – the loaf will be slightly smaller but still delicious.
- I like to mix the dough at night and leave it to rest overnight, then when I wake up I will shape it, leave it for an hour while I get ready for the day, and it’s in the oven then an hour after I wake up – who doesn’t love freshly baked bread in the morning?
Now for the gold 😉
What you’ll need:
- kitchen scales
- measuring jug
- measuring spoons
- 2 medium-large mixing bowls
- 1 Pyrex/cast Iron/oven safe ceramic deep (at least 4 inches) pot with a lid – see tip above if you don’t have one with a lid – approx 8 to 10 inches, 20cm to 25cm, in diameter
- 385g of plain flour or strong white flour
- pinch of sugar (½ tsp if you’re unsure)
- ¼ tsp instant yeast or fast action dried yeast
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 350ml of hot water, not boiling
- *extra flour for sprinkling and 1 tbsp of oil*
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl, add the water and combine using a fork – the dough will be wet and shaggy.
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm/clean tea towel and leave somewhere warmish (I normally leave it top of the fridge) for between 3 and 22 hours.
- There should be bubbles formed on top and it should be at least doubled in size.
- Generously sprinkle flour a clean work surface, then tip out the dough onto it – it will be slow but might need a little help, rub some oil on your fingers to coax it out around the edges.
- Flour your hands and sprinkle a small bit onto the dough too, then pat it out flat enough that you can fold it.
- Fold it like a small towel, bring the side in to the center then the front and back, then pat it into a round shape – keep flouring your hands if you need to.
- Use 1 tbsp of oil to coat the inside of the mixing bowl then generously sprinkle flour around the inside of the bowl.
- Quickly and confidently pick up the dough and place it into the bowl, smooth side up if possible but this isn’t crucial.
- Cover the bowl again and place it somewhere warmish again for at least 45 mins.
- It should be almost double the size again when it’s ready to bake.
- Half an our before baking, heat the oven to its highest heat (usually around 240°C/250°C but if your oven goes higher then go with it) and place the lidded dish in there for 30 mins.
- Carefully take the dish out of the oven and take off the lid then sprinkle in some flour around the base.
- Tip the dough in to the hot dish, sprinkle a little flour or seeds on top if desired, place the lid on and put into the oven for 30 mins.
- Remove the lid and leave in the oven for a further 10 to 20 mins for the crust to turn a deep golden brown.
- Remove from the dish immediately when done and leave to cool on a wire rack.
You’ll be making this again and again and again, believe me!
Slice with sharp bread knife on a board, slather with some real butter and enjoy 🙂